The ACLU’s Louisiana Pursuit
This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published May 14, 2015 by The Washington Times.
At odds with anything smacking of America’s religious and cultural heritage, the American Civil Liberties Union has issued a revealing series of warnings to officials about everything from the national motto to saggy pants and boys in prom dresses.
Together, they form a snapshot of how the ACLU is working overtime to fundamentally transform America.
First, some good news. In late April, the ACLU of Louisiana suffered a setback when the national motto, “In God We Trust,” was put back on a middle school marquee after being removed amid ACLU threats.
Hours before, students at Ridgewood Middle School in West Shreveport held a lunchtime rally where 500 T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase were handed out, according to KSLA News.
In March, someone had filed a complaint with the ACLU over prayers by the principal of nearby Walnut Hill Middle School. Seizing the opportunity for some religious cleansing, the ACLU sent a letter to the Caddo Parish School District. This prompted officials to remove “all references to God or religion of any kind from every school and website related to the Caddo Parish School District,” according to KSLA.
Among the casualties was “In God We Trust” on Ridgewood’s marquee. While school attorneys pondered the issue, Superintendent Lamar Goree gave permission to Ridgewood Principal Scott Aymond to restore the sign, which he promptly did the same afternoon.
The turnaround came after a local pastor, Joey Ketchum, who is also a school parent, was contacted by Ridgewood’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and helped organize the T-shirt distribution.
“That is such a victory for our students,” Mr. Ketchum told KSLA. “They wanted to take a stand and they did and we’re so thrilled to death that their voice was heard loud and clear.”
On to other pressing issues. On March 10, Louisiana ACLU Executive Director Marjorie R. Esman sent a letter to the Opelousas City Council warning them not to enact an ordinance against saggy pants in public.
“As we understand it, the ordinance will provide that ‘Pants worn by any person, regardless of age, should be size appropriate and secured at the waist to prevent the pants from falling more than three inches below the hips (crest of the ilium).’ The penalties would include fines and community service,” Ms. Esman wrote, adding, “Clothing is a form of expression protected under the Constitution of the United States. To ban a particular clothing style would violate a liberty interest guaranteed under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”
Now, can you imagine the 14th Amendment authors looking ahead to protect the “right” of young men to expose their underwear by wearing their pants down to the lower half of their butts? Thank God the ACLU discovered the heretofore unknown “saggy pants doctrine” in the amendment’s emanations.
When not going to the mat over saggy pants, the ACLU of Louisiana found time to warn school officials that they had better not enforce a prom dress code if they know what’s good for them.
In an April 6 statement to school superintendents, Ms. Esman told them that expecting girls to wear dresses and boys to wear tuxedoes was beyond the pale:
“Prohibiting a female student from wearing a tuxedo (or, conversely, prohibiting a male student from wearing a dress) violates not only the laws against sex discrimination but also the First Amendment’s right to free expression.”
In February, the prolific Ms. Esman wrote a letter to the St. Martinville police, warning them that forbidding obscene rap music on floats in the town’s family-oriented Mardi Gras parade would violate the First Amendment.
Ms. Esman conjectured that the policy could also lead to “racial profiling” in the black majority city of 7,100.
In January, Ms. Esman fired off a letter opposing new health safety and reporting guidelines for abortion clinics. “According to the Centers for Disease Control, abortion is a safe medical procedure with a 99 percent safety record,” she wrote. “These proposed regulations will have no effect on the safety of patients.”
That is, unless you’re the one in 100 women who has complications, or you happen to be an unborn child.
Finally, for good measure, Ms. Esman went after Louisiana’s sheriffs last October over requiring convicted sex offenders to post warning signs on Halloween.
The open letter said in part:
“[I]n some communities law enforcement has posted signs reading, ‘No candy at this residence,’ or ‘No trick, no treat, no candy,’ or similar signs indicating that children should not trick or treat at those addresses. These signs violate the privacy rights of family members who have committed no crimes.”
In the ACLU’s utopia, sex offenders hand out candy to children; family-friendly parades feature songs glorifying sexual violence; boys wear prom dresses, expose their undies, arrange an abortion for their girlfriends, and attend a school in which the nation’s motto referencing God is treated like, well, an obscenity.
Is there a pattern here? You bet there is.